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Stimson Library

Writing and Citing: Zotero Preferences

Style manuals, writing guides, and useful tools for citing sources in your papers.

#1 Zotero Preferences

The set-up steps you should take to make full use of Zotero:

  1. First, create a free Zotero account at
  2. Second, install Zotero and the word processor plugin for your word processor.
    Double-check that Zotero is in Microsoft Word.  Zotero should appear between "View" and "Help" in the banner.
    If not, go to File, Options, Add-Ins.  The file, Zotero.dotm, should appear under Active Application Add-Ins. Select the file, then go down to the bottom of the page where it says, Manager.  Click on the down arrow and select Word Add-Ins, then click on Go.
  3. Third, set up syncing. In Zotero, go to Edit, Preferences, then Sinc.   Input the Zotero Username and Password that you created when you created your free account.
  4. Finally, configure your citation style (e.g. Chicago, MLA, APA, etc.).  Go to Edit, then Preferences,  then Cite.

#2. Setting up Syncing.

The directions for setting up Syncing are as follows:

  • Click on Edit, Preferences, then Sync.
  • Enter your Zotero username and password.
  • Check the "sync automatically" box.
  • Check both boxes under File Syncing and choose Zotero storage for My Library. This will sync your citations and PDF attachments.
  • Click the green circular arrow button at the top right corner of the Zotero library.


  • Zotero will upload your library to the server.

#3. Configure your citation style and your export style.

Citation Style

Make sure the citation style you need is loaded in Zotero. Instructions are as follows:

  • For a Windows computer, click Edit and then Preferences.
  • For a Mac computer, click on Zotero and then Preferences.
  • Choose the tab Cite and then click on the subtab Styles.
  • Styles are listed alphabetically. Search for the name of your citation style and select it.
  • If you do not see your citation style click ,get additional styles, and download it.
    • Note: Remember where you saved the file on your computer.
  • Return to Zotero Preferences. Click the "+" underneath the alphabetical list of citation styles at the right. Select the file you downloaded and your style will be added.

#4. Open URL Resolver

An open URL resolver gives Zotero (you) permission to access Stimson Library full-text PDF files.  Go to Edit, Preferences, Advanced.  The link resolver has been blocked out.  You will need to call the library for the Stimson Library resolver. 

Retrieving PubMed PDF's in Zotero









Zotero usually downloads PDF's into Zotero, but Zotero does not directly download a PubMed  PDF.  Instead, it downloads a link to PubMed, "PubMed entry."  Click on the link and you will be take to the PubMed citation where you can retrieve the PDF or do an interlibrary loan. 


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